You may notice that, in some years, the Lake & Grounds area have relatively few posts. However, the photographic record was maintained and you can expect new material to be added when time is found. This means the new posts may appear anywhere on the site and not just in the current year's page. The best way to ensure you miss nothing is to visit the What's New page where you can find how you can subscribe to our newsletter.
It had been a long standing plan to level the path around the back of the lake. It was a job that required the construction of a wall to hold back the soil. David, our builder, who was adding a balcony above the lounge in the house the was able to advise and obtain the specially sawn and tanalised timber that was needed. But it was Andi, of the Green Team, and I that were to do the work.
This morning there were a pair of Moorhen chicks outside the lounge window with their mother. Later I was standing on the decking close to the gap through to the cottages and couldn't help but notice how visible the fish were. I'm no expert but they seem to all be Rudd to me, in spite of the fact that not all display the ruddy fins after which I suppose they are named. Later again I noticed that the moorhens were still outside. I hoped to get sharper pictures of the chicks.
The wildlife camera has been playing up. It has taken to ignoring the instruction to shoot in the hours of darkness only. So this afternoon it managed to capture these pigeons. Hardly exciting, but the first thing it managed to take in daylight that shows any wildlife!
Although a pair of Canada geese were around at the time the Swans began to nest, they produced no young. Nest Building for the swans was under way by 5 May By the 26 May the nest looked much better camouflaged as there is more growth around it and two days later and I manage to get close to the nest while the pen is away feeding. On 14 June, they hatch.
Just two views were taken of the lake this month and only two days apart. The first taken on the 12 May and the second on the 14 May. This is the month that the lilies leap into action. There appeared to be also no lilies that had broken the surface on 28 April but now there are many. And just two days later, if you ignore the white and pink lily plants closer to the house, there must be some 20% more of those that will produce the yellow golf ball sized flowers.
These two short video clips were captured on Friday evening (11 May) at 20:32 and last night (16 May) at 20:52 which you could say means the deer has remarkably stable habits visiting at nearly the same time of day.The head is out of frame for the first fifteen seconds before disappearing. There's then a gap before she reappears and frustratingly, the camera gives up shooting. The way this camera behaves is becoming increasingly annoying!
What is this creature? It was caught on the wildlife camera at around 02:35 this morning. The camera is pointing north and is strapped to a large oak at just about the most south-westerly point in the grounds and shows the path running behind the old reed bed. It's far too fat for a cat — and for an otter — and not long legged enough for a Muntjac!
There's been a lot been going on around the grounds this month and for some reason it seems that I forgot to take any of the traditional lake view. So the only picture to offer was one taken in the pouring rain on 28 April. Because of the lack of sun on the water, this time it's easier to see the leaves of the pink lilies beginning to break surface on the lake, but the remaining lilies appear a little bit late this year compared with some previous years.
It was just after 13:45 when we spotted a otter in the lake. I dashed upstairs to fetch the camera, but looking down from the bedroom window saw it was now on the bank of the lake. It inspected the ground around the path and then paused a while before diving in. Six minutes later he was ashore, by the duck house appearing to be chewing on a fish.